NortonLifeLock enters into a deal with Avast, a UK-listed cyber security group

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Avast PLC update

The American company NortonLifeLock has agreed to buy its European counterpart Avast as consumers Cyber ​​security transaction The London-listed group is valued at more than 8 billion U.S. dollars.

In a statement on Tuesday, the two companies said that Avast shareholders will receive a combination of cash and NortonLifeLock’s newly issued shares, and they will have a variety of options based on the ratio of cash to shares.

It said that based on Norton’s stock price before the offer period, the merger valued Avast at between $8.1 billion and $8.6 billion.

Established in the 1980s, Prague-based Avast has become one of the few dominant players in the niche consumer network protection market. Listed In 2018, it became one of the largest listed technology companies in the UK at the time.

The deal will allow Norton, its larger Nasdaq-listed competitor, to take advantage of its 435 million global users amid growing concerns about the threat of increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals such as ransomware gangs.

The combined business will be listed on the Nasdaq, but will be headquartered in Prague and Tempe, Arizona. The two companies said it will have 500 million customers and expect to save about US$280 million in annual cost in the third full year after the transaction is completed.

Norton CEO Vincent Pilette will continue to hold his position, and Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek will join Norton as president and board member.

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Vlcek said that as people move to work from home, work on less secure networks, and use technologies such as artificial intelligence to target victims on a large scale, cybercriminals are increasingly taking advantage of the epidemic.

“At a time when global cyber threats continue to increase, but cyber security penetration rates are still low, together with NortonLifeLock, we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of providing overall cyber protection to consumers around the world,” he said.

The consumer market used to be mainly composed of antivirus software, but now it also includes identity protection and privacy management. Other major players include McAfee and Microsoft.

Pilette said that Norton has always focused on identity protection, but will be able to introduce Avast’s privacy expertise to “provide a more comprehensive product portfolio for our current customers.”

After selling its corporate business to Broadcom at the end of 2019, Norton has recently attracted acquisition interest from groups including McAfee and private equity firms TPG and Thoma Bravo.

The stock prices of Avast and Norton both fell about 1% in after-hours trading.

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